Eddie and I took an adults-only trip to Minneapolis this past weekend, and we had a great time. When I started posting on social media, I had a few people ask me, "What made you choose Minneapolis?" Truthfully, Minneapolis is not a place that would ever really have been on my radar, but my friend Suzy and her husband were planning a trip to visit her sister and her fiancé, who live in Minneapolis. We figured it would be fun since we would be with friends, and we would explore a city we'd never been to before. Eddie and I were pleasantly surprised with how much we liked the city. It's cute, has a great restaurant scene, and is very clean. Some of the neighborhoods are very suburban, but so walkable and with little cafes and restaurants sprinkled in.
Anyway, here's a recap of what we did.
We stayed at the Moxy Minneapolis Uptown. Moxy is a Marriott-owned brand, but it is NOTHING like other Marriott hotels - and I don't mean that in a bad way! I would describe it as urban chic - the check-in desk is part of the hotel bar, there are neon signs all over the place, and there are games you can play in the lobby including foosball, ping pong, and jenga. I gave a little room tour in my stories (you can watch it here). The rooms were definitely on the small side - it's a boutique-style hotel - but we had a king bed and basically anything we could need. The shower was a great size (this is something that Eddie and I talk about with every hotel stay), and most importantly, everything was super clean. The rooms do not have a coffee maker, but there is free coffee in the lobby, so that's perfect. It's not in downtown, but the location is good for walking around - there are a couple cute street for walking and it's in walking distance of a couple lakes that we had a chance to walk around. There is also a gym located in the hotel.
Eat & Do
We arrived Thursday evening, checked in, and headed to The Butcher's Tale. Obviously this place has a big focus on meat. I started off with the Butter Pecan Old Fashioned and it was very good. We had the Sausage Sampler Platter, Smoked Jalapeños to start off. For the main course we went with the Beef Long Rib and we all shared sides: Wild Mushrooms, Buffalo Steak Fries, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread, and Sour Cream & Chive Mash. They were all excellent, can't go wrong with any of it, honestly. We had dessert, too. Eddie and I had Pistachio Cream Puffs and they were just the right amount of sweet and light after a very heavy meal.
For breakfast we ate at The Black Walnut Bakery twice. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel, but trust me when I say, WORTH IT. The quiche and the Chocolate Pistachio Croissant were too good for words. Browse their breads and pastries because man oh man they are good.
After breakfast one morning, we took a walk to Bde Maka Ska Lake/Park & Lake of the Isles. It was a great way to let breakfast settle and get some steps in. Then we headed to Stillwater.
Stillwater is a city on the west bank of the St. Croix River, across from Houlton, Wisconsin. Stillwater is often called "the birthplace of Minnesota" due to its role in the establishment of the state. It was established as a logging town, so a lot of the town's history is based around that. It is very cute and very picturesque. We walked downtown and popped into a few shops. We walked the Stillwater Bridge and crossed into Wisconsin for a few minutes on foot. We had lunch at Feller - the salads were delicious. Then we did a 45-minute trolley tour and got to see some of the historical aspects of Stillwater, which was fun. We ended our outing with ice cream and malt shakes at Leo's Malt Shop.
For dinner, we headed to another city called Wayzata, located in Hennepin County. It is about 9 miles west of Minneapolis in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. Situated on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, the city is popular among boaters, shoppers, and restaurant goers. There are a lot of waterfront spots here, so if that's your jam, make sure you head to Wayzata. We had dinner at COV, which was beautiful, and the food was so good. Try the chicken wings, cauliflower fries for starters. I went with sushi for my entree, and it was fantastic.
The North Loop is in downtown Minneapolis and is a nice area to walk around. We popped into a few shops, including Allbirds, which had just opened a few weeks prior.
We walked over the Hennepin Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River (built in 1855!) and ended up in St. Anthony Falls. We strolled around there for a little and grabbed some drinks and a quick bite at Aster Cafe.
For dinner, we headed to the iconic Manny’s Steakhouse - a classic steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis. It's actually one of the Top 10 Steakhouses in the US, according to the Zagat Guide. Everything was so good, including the service!
We finished off the night with drinks at The Hewing.
We gave ourselves a slow start on Sunday and then headed to Mall of America. It's a mall, and you might be thinking, "Why would you go to the mall?" Well, this happens to be the largest mall in the US and boasts a theme park right in the middle.
We had brunch at Cedar + Stone Urban Table. It was delicious - don't miss their breakfast potatoes!
The mall is also very close to the airport, so we were able to kill some time while we waited to head to the airport. And a note about their airport - it was one of the most organized and efficient security areas I have ever been through!
We're grateful we were finally able to get away for a little bit, and we're even more grateful for our friends who made this trip wonderful (and also for the grandparents who watched the kids so we could get out of town alone!).
We had an awesome time, and if you're looking for a place to visit that's not super crowded and run by tourists, you can definitely add Minneapolis to your list!
Pin this for later!
Another war novel, this written by Kate Quinn and spanning thirty years and two world wars, The Alice Network follows two women who find themselves somehow connected.
Charlie St. Clair is American socialite on the verge of being kicked out of her family for getting pregnant out of wedlock. When her mother takes her to Europe to take care of her "little problem," she escapes and begins a hunt for a cousin she lost during World War II in the hopes that she will find her alive.
Evelyn Gardiner was a young woman recruited to become a spy during the First World War. She is sent to German-occupied France and becomes part of a vast network of female spies known as the Alice Network.
Thirty years after Evelyn's mission is complete, she spends her days drunk and alone in a house in London. When Charlie shows up at Eve's door, she brings up a name that has haunted Eve for years. This launches them both on a mission to find the truth.
This was a great read, and once I got to the second half, I really couldn't put it down. If you enjoy war novels, I think this is a great one. It's got love, war, and espionage. What could go wrong?
I’ve seen this weird phenomenon going on lately. Every time something big happens in the world, someone comments on a blogger/influencer’s page or sends them a DM to reprimand them for not commenting on “the issue at hand.”
Look, I get it. Sometimes we are so consumed by an issue that we feel like everyone needs to be aware/use their platform to spread awareness/ share their opinion on an issue so that we know where they stand on something.
But we don’t live in a vacuum. If you’ve ever experienced something terrible - the death of someone you love, a miscarriage, heartbreak - you know if feels like your world is ending. Around you though, the rest of the world continues to go on. Bad things happen in the world every single day. We cannot POSSIBLY be a champion for every single cause.
For one thing, we don’t always understand every part of a story or issue. It’s not fair to ask others to opine on something they may not even fully understand. For me personally, there are a lot of things that I won’t comment on because context is important to me. And if I cannot fully understand context, I cannot fully form an opinion.
We also need to remember that people have lives outside of social media.
Maybe they are having a bad week and they only have the capacity to share positive, uplifting, or light things.
Maybe they have to get that campaign out because they need the payment before their next mortgage payment/rent check/electricity/tuition bill is due.
Maybe they don’t have the energy to respond to all the opinions they will undoubtedly receive (because no matter what they post, someone has a differing opinion and will make it known to them).
We don’t walk around asking every person we come across in a day what their opinions are on a certain current event. Why do we expect the same of every person we come across on Instagram? If you are searching for a reason to unfollow someone, stop searching, stop DMing them to stir the pot, and just unfollow.
And if you’re the blogger who is receiving these messages - protect your peace, protect your energy, and keep being yourself. Don’t feel the need to express an opinion on every single issue or current event. If you want to, do it. But if you don’t, you don’t owe your opinion to anyone.
A few weeks ago, Eddie came home and mentioned that he wanted to put together "Blessing bags" to keep in the car. I had never heard of this and I asked him to elaborate. Blessing Bags are bags filled with essentials like deodorant, water bottles, a toothbrush/toothpaste, snacks, etc. You keep them in your car and when you see someone who is homeless, you can hand it to them.
Eddie and Caleb took complete charge of this project and Caleb has been very excited to help those who are in need. Every morning he asks me, "Mommy, keep your eyes out for anyone we can give the blessing bag to!" Finally, last week, we had a chance to give one out, and he was very excited. He told me afterwards how good he felt doing something for someone in need.
Blessing bags can contain pretty much anything you think might be helpful, including, but not limited to some of these:
Have you ever done these before? Let me know what you included that we forgot!
I haven't shared a book rec in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading! I've actually been making my way through the Bridgerton books because I really just wanted some escapism. But last week I borrowed The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins from the library, and I flew through it.
Jane is a drifter who finds herself in Birmingham, Alabama, walking dogs for the residents of a wealthy gated community. She spends her days walking dogs and lifting knick-knacks and jewelry from the bored housewives.
After a near-fatal run-in with Eddie Rochester, a recently widowed, mysterious resident, he invites her in for coffee. She soon discovers that Eddie's wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend. Jane knows that Eddie has everything she is looking for - wealth, good looks, and he's willing to protect her from her past.
But Jane grows increasingly intrigued by the ghost of Bea. She was beautiful, successful, and well-liked, and Jane isn't sure she will ever measure up. As bits and pieces of all their stories start to unravel, Jane discovers that she isn't the only one with secrets. Will she get her happy ending?
This story is suspenseful and full of plot twists, and just when you think you know what happened, something knocks you back a step. The story is told from Jane, Bea, and Eddie's points of view, and it weaves the past with the present very well. If you're looking for a good story of suspense, definitely check this one out!
Get the book.
These are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you purchase a book through these links.
South Florida Bloggers
2019 Best Parenting Blog